Dear friends,

Happy 4th of July! The weather looks gorgeous out (at least here in Albany) hope you all have a wonderful July 4th, however you enjoy and celebrate.

It dawned on us this morning that the much acclaimed “self-evident” of the Declaration of Independence obviously isn’t self-evident to all, as it depends on the “We hold…” which precedes it.  This truth of the prerequisite of “We hold” is self-evident, and if it wasn’t, we are often enough or now and then reminded of it. 

We realize Shabbos House may be self-evident for those UAlbany students and alumni who have been here, especially those who’ve made it a big part of their UAlbany experience, but Shabbos House is not self-evident, nor self-sustaining. It’s only possible because of the many who “We hold…” Shabbos House up, as in the famous verse recited when returning the Torah to the Ark “Eitz Chayim Hee – Torah is a tree of life for those holding onto it, happy are its supporters.”

The annual Summer Raffle is one of the many ways to help hold up Shabbos House. This year we’re calling it the “Inflation-Buster” because we’re hoping this fundraiser helps make a dent in the increased costs of everything we do, especially food costs (our single largest expense by far) and utilities. The Raffle ends in just over a week on July 13th, and all tickets purchased via this Summer Raffle link go directly to Shabbos House – at no cost to Shabbos House. Each ticket is $36 – an amount which is accessible to more people.

Thanks for your continued “We hold!” support of Shabbos House – so that it may continue to be “self-evident” for students at UAlbany!

For those up in Albany: We are on for this coming July 8/9 Shabbat and we’re looking forward to hosting some visiting students then, too. Sunday afternoon July 10th is the local Shalom Food Pantry “Battle of the BBQ’s” 4-6pm at the JCC,

Personal updates: Mendel’s father is still at Sunnyview Rehab Hospital for now, there are gradual significant improvements and we’re hopeful!  His Hebrew name for prayers is R’ Yisrael Eliezer ben Yocheved Miriam. We spent this past Shabbat (and Rebbe’sGimmel Tammuz” yartzeit) with Mendel’s mother, where we had this unusual experience of Rebbe Chabad testament on Sat Night and at the Shul Mendel shared this Rebbe teaching that so greatly influenced his father.

On Sunday the 10th, Chani heads off to staff a C-Teen trip to Israel and Sara is off for some adventures with a close friend. Bassie is having a blast as a counselor at Camp Emunah overnight camp in the Catskills, and Moshe is working (hard!) as a head-waiter at Camp Gan Israel near Liberty NY. Our youngest two begin day camp at the local Camp Gan Israel after this weekend, where Bluma will be a junior staff member for July.

Best wishes for a happy 4th and an enjoyable summer!

Mendel and Raizy